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Colorado Springs product, Rampage grad Sykes takes next step, commits to NCAA D-III UMass Dartmouth


Spencer Sykes enjoyed playing junior hockey in Massachusetts that he will stay there for college hockey.

The Colorado Springs native recently committed to NCAA Division III UMass Dartmouth after two seasons with the EHL’s Boston Jr. Rangers.

“The coaching staff at UMass Dartmouth saw me at a showcase and invited me to visit the college,” Sykes said. “After a day on campus, I felt it was the right fit for me and they offered me a spot. UMass Dartmouth intrigued me because their NCAA hockey program is top notch. I toured UMass Dartmouth in November of 2023 and fell in love with the campus along with the fact that they are ranked among the top business schools in the U.S.

“Academics have always been a priority for me since I was a kid. My parents made sure I was giving my full effort in school if I wanted to continue to play competitive hockey. Balancing both has really helped me in all aspects of life, especially in school, and has helped me become a better student-athlete.”

Sykes will major in Business Finance at UMass Dartmouth.

“Spencer has been a great player and teammate for us these last two seasons,” said Rangers head coach and general manager Rich DeCaprio. “He’s a big part of the success we have had as a team. He’s really grown into a college player here and it’s been great to watch him develop. He has first-class speed, and with his size and puck skills, he will really flourish at the next level. We are very happy for Spence and can’t wait to watch him at the NCAA level.”

Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Sykes started playing hockey in Monument when he was four years old.

“My mom Jackie grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, cheering for her high school hockey team and passed on her love of hockey to my brother and I,” said Sykes. “I have a very competitive nature in sports and wanted to compete against my older brother Cameron. Having the opportunity to skate with my brother who is two and a half years older than me helped increase my awareness and speed on the ice.

“The Colorado Avalanche have been a huge influence ever since I skated at the Ball Arena as a Squirt. Watching the Avalanche play is one of my favorite things to do with my family.”

Sykes grew up playing for the Colorado Rampage. He also played one year with the Colorado Springs Tigers where he said he learned the most from coach Joe Bonnett. In addition, Sykes played two years of varsity high school hockey at Pine Creek so he could earn a letter.

“My high school coaches, Ed Saxer and Hal Jordan, had a huge positive impact on my hockey path,” said Sykes. “My second year of 18U AAA, I was given the opportunity to go to Michigan where I played 18U AAA hockey for Compuware in the HPHL.”

Once Sykes arrived in the EHL, his game took a giant leap in the development category.

“Playing juniors in the Eastern Hockey League really helped me develop a college-level style of play that I was not used to,” Sykes said. “It was a game changer for me and helped me grow exponentially. Having played for the Boston Jr. Rangers over the past two seasons has taught me many valuable lessons about teamwork, leadership, and sportsmanship. The EHL is a great league, and I would definitely recommend it.”

Going forward, Sykes intends to stay on the ice for the long term.

“My short-term goals in both hockey and school are to give everything I have every day and to work hard to become a better hockey player, student, and person,” said Sykes. “My long-term goals are to graduate with a college degree and to forever play competitive hockey.”

Photo/Dan Hickling/Hickling Images

— Matt Mackinder

(May 24, 2024)

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